Be good if the new Pope stops this, more likely he will get a bigger carpet and broom

Wouldn’t it be grand if the new Pope really made a difference and addressed the awful legacy of child abuse perpetrated and covered up by his church:

The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, is among a number of senior church figures who have been ordered to appear at the NSW Commission of Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of child sex abuse by the Catholic Church in the Maitland-Newcastle region.

The summonsing of the archbishop, along with the secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference, Father Brian Lucas, came during the formal opening of the inquiry by Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC on Wednesday.

The inquiry will examine allegations that members of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese covered up the abuse of young children by the now-deceased priests Father Denis McAlinden and Father James Fletcher. 

It will also examine allegations by a child abuse investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, that he was ordered by senior police to stop investigating such matters and had been directed to hand over his files in the Fletcher and McAlinden matters.

Both allegations were first aired by Inspector Fox on the ABC’s Lateline program in November last year.

Archbishop Wilson is expected to come under scrutiny for the early period of his career where he was a priest in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

Father Lucas was also a priest in the diocese early in his career, and is likely to be questioned about this period.

“The sexual abuse of children is abhorrent,” Ms Cunneen said in her opening address. “It exploits their vulnerability, irreparably damages their innocence and and casts a shadow over their whole lives.

“When sexual abuse is committed by those in positions of trust and authority, it is even more abhorrent.”


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  • Mr_Blobby

    Why do they still address them as father this or father that surely they have stripped of any titles other than convict.

  • Time For Accountability

    I did not jump ship before the coverup was exposed: Yea right.

  • Time For Accountability

    It is a pity they did not cover up so their would be no abuse rather than after covering up after the abuse.

    The term Accessory after the fact pops into my mind. They go to jail too.

  • What exactly do you want him to do?

    • Lion_ess

      You’re close to him, can’t you think of anything the Pope could do to help clean up the reputation of the Catholic Church?

      I can think of a couple of things:-
      Equal rights for females within the Church (if the Church must exist at all)
      Sex protection and birth control for people in those countries who can’t support their children and suffer from sexually transmitted diseases
      Staying out of birth control debates – what does it have to do with the Church anyway?
      Confessing up to the systemic abuse of children (boys in particular) and dealing with it in a convincing way – like other people are dealt with.

      • parorchestia

        PLUS Investigate and stop the gross illegalities in Vatican accounts and banking.
        PLUS Stop the male dominance in the church

        PLUS Stop sexual abstinence in the Priesthood (didn’t have it for the first 800 years or so)
        PLUS institute doctrinal changes to recognise the increases in knowledge of the last 300 years!
        (And stop casting Mary Magdalene as having been a fallen women – there is no evidence for this. I know this is minor, but it is typical of the slack theology of the Catholic Church)
        Otherwise, he/she doesn’t need to do nufink. Yeah, right.

    • sandynobb

      He was just following orders.

    • Goldie

      Umm. Well, for starters, the new pope could:
      Instruct all members of the church to cooperate fully with authorities.
      Instruct all church members to report any suspected child abuse in the past to authorities.
      Excommunicate any priests suspected of child abuse.
      Excommunicate any priests that have sought to protect child rapists and/or stymie police inquiries (such as instructing priests to refuse to cooperate with police inquiries, transferring priests under investigation to different jurisdictions to avoid prosecution, deliberately destroying or tampering with evidence, putting pressure on victims and their families not to testify, shifting church assets so as to avoid paying compensation to victims…), and ensure they face authorities for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
      Disavow the lines that deny responsibility and avoid dealing honestly with the crimes, such as “it is the fault of society”, “it was long ago in the past”, “that’s been dealt with”, “other people rape children too”, “the claims are exaggerated”, “its only a few bad apples”, “people that make these claims are trying to attack the church”, or “I was only following orders.”
      Stop shifting church assets to avoid paying compensation to victims.